Means-end Theory, Visual verbal imaging

18/06/2020 0 By indiafreenotes

Motivation Research is grounded in the means-end theory of decision-making, used by some of the best marketers and communicators in the world for more than 50 years to build powerful and persuasive campaigns. Means-end theory embodies the two key dimensions of persuasion: understanding the target audience’s personal values and understanding the emotional links that tie those values to a specific decision.

Well grounded in academic research and marketing literature, the means-end theory asserts that people make choices about a product, service or issue in a manner that taps into four dimensions: attributes, benefits, emotions and personal values.

Motivations are based on both rational and emotional elements and driven by personal relevance. A decision becomes more personally relevant when people perceive that the decision will help them realize their values. Artemis Strategy Group’s Motivation Research approach enables clients to achieve effective persuasive communication by tying a “rational-emotional” connection to a particular decision or call to action.

The means end theory states that an advertisement must contain a message or means that leads the

consumer to a desired end state. It is a basis of a model called MECCAS = means end conceptualization of Components for Advertising Strategy. The five elements stated in the model are as follows:

  • Products Attributes
  • Consumer Benefits                                                                   
  • Leverage Points
  • Personal Values
  • Executional Framework

Types of personal values


Inner peace



Excitement Mature love Security Happiness
Freedom Personal accomplishment Self-respect Comfortable Life
Fun, exciting life Pleasure Sense of belonging Social Acceptance

E.g.: Means-End Chain for Milk

Attributes Benefits Personal Values
Low Fat Healthy Self-Respect
Calcium Healthy Bones Comfortable Life
Ingredients Good Taste Pleasure
Vitamins Enhanced ability Excitement

Verbal vs. Visual Imaging

  1. Verbal: The greater emphasis is given on words in some of the advertisements in order to evoke the response from the target market
  2. Visual: The visual imagery is considered to be more effective than the verbal message. Visual imagery is stored both as pictures and words in brain and this dual processing increases recall level. Also the visual imagery is considered to be a universal language for the advertisers as an image will depict the same thing for audience belonging to different geographical and cultural settings. However the meaning of a word maybe different for different people. In this respect, the visual imagery is very effective.